Saturday, April 18, 2009
Downtown hater Antenori has 'gone Maricopa'
PHOENIX -- The bombastic negativity of Rep. Frank Antenori (R-LD30) toward downtown Tucson is too much, and I and many southern Arizonans have had enough.
Just like many members of congress who 'go Washington' once elected, Frank, who I believe has lived on the far northeast side for only five years, seems to have already 'gone Maricopa County' in his first few months in the legislature. Antenori seems adrift in anger, not listening to business or community leaders who want to preserve our economic development funding, and local control of it.
I actually represent downtown and have lived there with my family for a long time. I served many years on the Tucson Planning Commission, where we dealt in detail with trying to help improve and streamline conditions for business and downtown revitalization. I also served many years as an active President of a historic downtown neighborhood. Not once has my friend Antenori asked me about about anything having to do with downtown.
Frank wasn't even in Tucson when voters approved Rio Nuevo and its specific projects, but yet now he is a self-proclaimed expert and seems to be serving his Maricopa County Republican legislative leaders in stealing Tucson's money and local control, which is foolishly reckless against the economic interests of southern Arizona. Frank lives so far from downtown he doesn't even want to be considered from Tucson, but yet he's using his position as a State Rep to push his own jihad against jobs, economic development and local control in our central city. Frank's attacks against Tucson could end up harming our regional economy.
Sweeping our Rio Nuevo funds to Maricopa County or ending local control makes no sense, and why should anyone trust Antenori and the out-of-touch Republicans in the legislature with Rio Nuevo when they cannot even produce a state budget?
City management has certainly made some mistakes with Rio Nuevo, many under past city councils, but our current city leaders have learned from these mistakes and have put this essential southern Arizona economic development project back on-track. There is a lot of good happening downtown and in the Rio Nuevo area, just ask Republican Mayor Bob Walkup.
Antenori, if you don't like downtown then stay away as it starts to thrive. If you want to work on downtown issues, fine, let me know and we can make it a team effort focused on accountability and the best results for all. But if you have nothing positive to offer for downtown, stop messing with essential economic development projects outside of your district.
Frank, when you mess with downtown, you mess with me, my family, my district, my constituents and a whole lot of other people. You'd be wise to back off and focus on helping people in LD30 and prioritizing the many issues there.
Finally, Antenori's hatred toward downtown seems to really be about his extreme and partisan views, using downtown as his excuse to attack Democrats, who much to his chagrin are more popular than Republicans in Tucson and southern Arizona.
If you don't want to help Tucson, Frank, you can get a radio talk show after voters kick you out in 2010, if you help Maricopa County take our money, jobs and local control.